Apoquel® is a Janus kinase inhibitor that reduces the activity of interleukin (IL)-31, the main itch-causing cytokine. But, it can also reduce the activity of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2, -4, -6, and -13. Reduction of pruritus can be noticed within 4 hours of administration. In addition, its short-half life allows Apoquel® to be used as an on-and-off switch for pruritus. This is a great tool during the allergic workup since it gives us the ability to provide relief to our canine patient while seeing if a diet trial or ectoparasite control has been effective. Apoquel® targets allergic itch and inflammation and can be used short- and long-term for the management of allergic and atopic dermatitis.
Cases where I prescribe Apoquel® include dogs over 12 months with first-time allergic or atopic dermatitis, during the diagnostic workup to provide itch relief, in dogs with hot spots due to allergic dermatitis along with antibiotics, or as a long-term treatment for chronic allergic or atopic dermatitis.
Cytopoint is another helpful option for pruritus management for allergic dermatitis. It is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes IL-31. Cytopoint can be used in dogs of any age which is an amazing benefit for dogs under 12 months of age. It can also be a useful tool for owners who struggle to give daily tablets. Cytopoint can be used short- or long-term to manage allergic or atopic dermatitis.
Neither Apoquel® nor Cytopoint inhibits skin or serum allergy testing. . This makes both therapies great options prior to a referral to a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. Check out episode 70 of The Derm Vet podcast for a more in-depth discussion.
This podcast was sponsored by Zoetis, the makers of treatments including APOQUEL (oclacitinib tablet) and CYTOPOINT. Zoetis is dedicated to changing the way we approach canine pruritus to protect the bonds between the pet, the owner, and the veterinary team. Visit ScienceofStrongerBonds.com for more information.
Apoquel-Important Safety Information
Do not use APOQUEL in dogs less than 12 months of age or those with serious infections. APOQUEL may increase the chances of developing serious infections and may cause existing parasitic skin infestations or pre-existing cancers to get worse. Consider the risks and benefits of treatment in dogs with a history of recurrence of these conditions. New neoplastic conditions (benign and malignant) were observed in clinical studies and post-approval. APOQUEL has not been tested in dogs receiving some medications, including some commonly used to treat skin conditions such as corticosteroids and cyclosporines. Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. The most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea. APOQUEL has been used safely with many common medications, including parasiticides, antibiotics, and vaccines. For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information at APOQUEL.com.
APOQUEL® Indications: Control of pruritus (itching) associated with allergic dermatitis and control of atopic dermatitis in dogs at least 12 months of age.
Cytopoint Indications: CYTOPOINT has been shown to be effective for the treatment of dogs against allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.